In the last few years every developer has been decorating with the same palette. It is a take on Scandinavian design, which appeals very widely, and usually involves wood floors with a greyish wash, grey walls, a grey kitchen, and, my pet hate, a slightly shiny grey quilted bed cover. It has got to the stage when looking at photos of a new property I simply can’t tell if I have been to see it or not. I search desperately for a red chair or yellow coffee table to give me a clue.
I believe that we are at last seeing a reaction to Nordic gloom, and interestingly, it seems to be starting with the floors. Beautiful encaustic and ceramic patterned tiles are being used for bathrooms and entry halls, and in some kitchens. As floors are some of the most expensive features of a house to alter, I believe this is a real trend, where developers and owner occupiers have invested in the belief that it will appeal to the market and have some shelf-life. You have only to visit the incredibly cool showroom of the booming flooring company of Bert and May in the East End to see how London has taken taken patterned floors to its heart.
Rugs in glowing raspberry, greens, and teal (and you can pay a great deal for these from the best dealers such as Luke Irwin) have slunk under the grey sofas and Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs. However, the off white Berber rug which has been centre stage in every interior picture for the last couple of years is so over. In fact, probably time it featured on fuckyournoguchicoffeetable.tumblr.com
I am hopeful that the general market, which has been conditioned to be afraid of anything that is not neutral, will be brave enough to have the courage of their convictions and opt for buying property with beautiful colour. Check out Abigail Ahearne’s website. The roaring success of her design and paint business is another testament to the increased use of powerful colour in interiors.
Beautiful house in Queen’s Park decorated by stylist extraordinaire Marianne Cotterill (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Country house in Morocco designed by Sara Oliver of China Coast Interiors (www.chinacoast.co.uk)